Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘entire body movement’

Answers To A Few Questions About Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2020

I think it is time to revisit some things.  A compilation of re-visitation.  How does that sound?  This is in regards to Nia.  I have all of this information spread out in various posts on my blog and in various places on my website but I thought I could revisit some information for a post.  This will help to get the information out there.  I will answer some questions that I have received recently as a new group of people are going to be treated to a Nia class.

How is Nia different than Zumba?
Well, based off of my Zumba and Nia training and based off of the Zumba and Nia classes I have attended the main difference is movement, both speed and type.  Zumba is regularly faster.  Nia can be fast, but in general is slower than Zumba.  Zumba’s movements tend to be more Latin; focusing on movement of the hips and feet, whereas Nia is more of an entire body movement type of dance class.  Nia incorporates three art forms into the dance (martial arts, dance arts, and healing arts – more about all of that can be found in the “The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia” post.)

Is it sweaty?
Well, that is based entirely on you, the individual.  Some people dance Nia and don’t sweat, it could be that they just aren’t the type of body that sweats or it could be that they really didn’t move enough to sweat.  I remember teaching one class years ago and a student came up to me as I was toweling off and said, “You really don’t sweat much in Nia, do you?”  As I said, I was toweling off, my hair was wet, I was blind from sweat, and my glasses were fogged up.  And I said, “No, no YOU don’t.”  Because this person had stood behind me the entire class.  I never saw this student’s arms or legs or head.  So, in other words, this person didn’t move a lot, this person never lifted their arms up or out, nor did they kick out, so there wasn’t a lot of movement on their part so they didn’t sweat.  And that is fine, if that is what your goal is.  If you want to go to a cardio dance class and not sweat don’t move a lot.  If you are the type of person that sweats when you move and you decide to move in the class, then you will sweat.  It really is all about what you want for your body that day, during that class.

What do I wear?
Anything you want in order to feel comfortable.  Something you can move in and that you don’t mind being on the floor in.

Is Nia done barefoot?
Yes.  Nia is designed to be done barefoot.  Again, we do not jump – sometimes a trainer might get fancy and excited and include a little jump or two when s/he created the routine, but for the most part we do not jump.  We don’t typically twist on our feet, we pick up our feet.  There is a lot of foot work in Nia designed to stretch and strengthen the foot.  Nia believes that – while shoes can be lovely – they restrict the movement of the foot, so moving in bare feet allows the foot to move as it was designed.

What type of music is played in a Nia class?
All types of music.  Some routines run the gamut of tunes from rock to classical, some routines contain only one genre or one artist but the music for Nia as a whole varies.  You can click here and click around if you would like to hear some samples of the actual music in some of our routines.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaAs a note, people constantly confuse IMPACT with INTENSITY. We had been trained to think we have to move fast with high jumps up and down (impact) in order to get a “good” workout and in order to sweat. But if you stand with your feet in A stance (slightly wider than your shoulders) and do squats for three minutes, you might get a little sweaty. You will have done an INTENSE exercise, but not one that is high impact. Nia is not high impact, yet it can be intense.  People who do the moves in their bodies way, always come up to me and say what a great workout they just had in Nia.  The routines are created from movements that the body was designed to do, but Nia knows that not everyone’s body can move that way so dancers are encouraged to move in their own body’s way.  And with that in mind individuals get the workout they need.

Above I mentioned sweating in a Nia class, well, it could be you do sweat when you workout, but it could be that you are taking a Nia class in the middle of your work day or you are meeting friends for lunch after class so you don’t CHOOSE to move a lot and you want to take it easy – that is perfectly acceptable.  It is perfect to dance how you want to/how you are able to at that time.

So, these are the questions that I have received of late.  I can go on for pages talking about Nia . . . and I have if you look here on my blog you will find plenty of posts about Nia.  Or you can check out my website, here are some pages that might interest you:

Nia Information / Nia Class Cycles / Main Benefits of Nia / Tips for a Pleasurable Nia Experience / Principles of the Body’s Way / Nia Tips for Moving with Nia / Sounding Tips / Nia’s 52 Moves / Nia Belt Levels and Focuses

Also, feel free to contact me if you any other questions or want more information.  Yay to new Nia dancers!

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